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5 Traits All the Best Daters Have

A man and a woman on a date, smiling as they hug each other.

You don’t have to go far to hear someone complain about how horrible today’s dating scene is. Whether in your group chat, on Twitter, or over drinks with your friends, tales of dating mishaps are everywhere. So much so, that it’s hard not to become jaded. But the truth is that dating isn’t harder, it’s different. And when you get down to the basics, a lot of what makes dating work or not work for people hasn’t changed.

There are certain people that are great daters no matter what technology or methods we use to meet each other. These daters have a specific set of traits that make them open to dating experiences and able to capitalize on them. So how do you become one of these magical, master daters? It’s easier than you’d think.

Here are the five traits the most successful daters have in common:

1. Flexibility
Those who are open to new connections and broad experiences tend to do the best at dating. When we’re anxious and overly-picky it makes it harder to develop meaningful relationships. There’s a unique power to be found in flexibility. By being open and not stifled by our self-prescribed preferences we increase our availability. This, in turn, increases the likelihood we’ll find someone we’re interested in, even if he or she comes in a different package than what we were expecting. So place yourself in new environments, start conversations with people you normally wouldn’t, and engage with as many people as possible.

2. Kindness
Kindness is underrated. If you’ve ever spent time with someone who was genuinely nice, you understand that it changes everything. Your perception, your demeanor, and many times the outcome of your interaction is positively impacted by their presence. Warmth, generosity, and gentleness will go a long way towards helping you make quality connections. By giving to others what you yourself would like to receive, you can put yourself in a position to have your kindness reciprocated.

3. Social
More and more of life seems to be taking place online. As engagement on social media continues to soar, and activity on dating apps and websites persists, it’s tempting make online experiences main way we build relationships. But life must also be lived offline, and the only way to meet people is to actually meet them. Make it a daily priority to place yourself in social settings. Go to the gym, grab coffee, and chill at your local coffee shop. Remove your earbuds when you’re out. Look up from your phone. Smile. Say hello to the people you lock eyes with. Despite our parents’ warnings, it’s more than okay to talk to strangers.

4. Intentional
The best daters are calculated, and refuse to leave matters of the heart up to chance. This requires that we each become self-aware enough to understand not just what we want in another person but what we need as well. An intentional approach to dating helps keep our interactions with people from becoming too complicated. When you know the type of person who’s an ideal fit for your lifestyle, you’ll experience a higher level of clarity around the way you approach relationships. With that clarity, things like rejection don’t have the same sting they once did.You no longer have the temptation to press for relationships that ultimately aren’t good for you, because you’re more focused on what is.

5. Good Listeners
It’s no fun sitting across the table from someone who won’t stop talking. It’s exhausting. A good conversation should have a natural rhythm to it. But there’s also another reason I’m encouraging you to focus on listening as much as you can—people will always reveal the truth of who they are given the time and space to do so. Give people a chance to open up and they will.

If you’re unsure of your dating ability, it can feel overwhelming. But being a better dater isn’t as hard as it seems. All of these traits are things you can start building today, on your next date or during your next interaction with someone. You already know how to become a better dater, now you just have to start doing it.

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